BELLEVUE, Wash., June 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following more than four hours of testimony before a House committee today by a U.S. Senator, government whistleblowers and relatives of a slain Border Patrol agent, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is calling for the immediate suspension, without pay, of all supervisors involved in a controversial gunrunning sting operation, including the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and his deputies, and the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate and determine who initiated this project and who approved it.
Operation Fast and Furious was the ATF's botched gun trafficking investigation in Arizona that allowed more than 2,000 guns to be moved into a criminal pipeline leading straight to Mexico. Today's stunning revelations under oath by ATF agents before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform suggest there were willful violations of ATF policy and procedures that were allegedly ordered by supervisors in Phoenix with the knowledge of the agency hierarchy in Washington, D.C.
"Today's hearing revealed one outrage after another," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. "Everybody who was involved in this debacle must be held accountable. That can only happen if there is an independent prosecutor, someone who cannot be influenced by the Justice Department."
"It is clear that members of Congress have been stonewalled," he continued. "We share Congressman Darrell Issa's outrage at the conduct of the Justice Department, and particularly the ATF. They're supposed to be preventing criminals from getting firearms, not facilitating it."
"We think an independent prosecutor is important for another reason," Gottlieb added. "Attempts by some members of the House Oversight committee to politicize this investigation are disappointing. Finding the truth about how this operation went wrong is not a launch pad for some new gun control effort. Don't blame our gun laws and gun rights for the criminal acts of people who should have been arrested before anybody got killed."
"For the present," he concluded, "the ATF should be immediately put under the command of people who clearly understand that it is their job to prevent illegal gun trafficking, instead of allowing it to happen. There has been a serious lack of leadership and accountability, and that needs to be fixed today."
With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (www.ccrkba.org) is one of the nation's premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States.
SOURCE Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms